Updated: Park's Dept. worker saves police sargent's life during shootout

"They say you can always tell who police officers are. They're the ones running to the gunfire. I think Mr. Stennis has a little police officer in him." - Chris Circo, Vice President of International Union of Police Associations (IUPA) Local 101, Omaha, Nebraska

Originally posted on 10/1/08, edited on 10/6/08
LaDon Stennis, left, and Omaha police Sgt. Paul Latschar t shake hands before the ceremony held to honor Stennis for helping Latschar after the officer was shot on Aug. 20. (Photo by Kent Sievers/Omaha World Herald)

I got this story from Police Link, and I was really impressed by the actions of LaDon Stennis.

It happened on August 20th., 2008 (from Police Link):
Stennis had been out for an evening on his Kawasaki Vulcan on Aug. 20 when he rode into the shooting scene and quickly went to Latschar’s aid.

Latschar had been shot after he and Swanson, members of the Police Department’s gang unit, stopped a car whose driver they recognized as Corey T. Allen, a gang member whose driver’s license had been revoked. Allen is accused of shooting at the officers.

Shots were still being fired when Stennis spotted Latschar running across Camden Avenue near 42nd Street. In an interview after the shooting, Stennis said he had seen Latschar, probably already wounded, turn and fire several times and then collapse on the curb.

When the gunfire stopped, Stennis said, he positioned his motorcycle between the wounded officer and whoever was shooting at him. He cushioned Latschar’s head as they waited for police cruisers and an ambulance.

Latschar was hit in the left arm, lower abdomen and his bulletproof vest. He was released from the hospital Sept. 1. He lost his pulse and blood pressure as he was being taken into surgery at Creighton University Medical Center.
Here's a link to a video, from News 3, when they figured out who this guy was "Man Braves Bullets to Shelter Officer Latschar"

Omaha say's thanks to LaDon Stennis

From the Omaha World-Herald (9/26/08):
Omaha said thanks to LaDon Stennis this morning with a proclamation, a plaque, a police baton and a weekend rental of a new motorcycle.

The proclamation came from Mayor Mike Fahey, who praised Stennis during a City Hall ceremony for his bravery in helping a critically wounded police officer.

Stennis "helped save the life" of Officer Paul Latschar, Fahey said.

The plaque came from the Omaha Police Department and was presented by Chief Eric Buske, who laid out the story of what Stennis did to help Latschar.

The police baton came from the Omaha Police Union. Chris Circo, vice president of the union, presented that along with high praise:

"They say you can always tell who police officers are. They're the ones running to the gunfire. I think Mr. Stennis has a little police officer in him."

There were hugs and handshakes all around, many of them exchanged between Stennis' and Latschar's families.

Stennis' wife, Connie, and their son, 7-year-old LaDon II, were there to see LaDon Sr. honored. So was Latschar's wife, Tara, and Officer Jerry Swanson, who was with Latschar the night he was shot.

It was the union that gave Stennis a weekend's use of a new Harley-Davidson.
I called the International (IUPA) office for more info and found out that Mr. Stennis works for the Parks Department, and am waiting for more info and pictures. I have also read that Sargent Latschar is still not back to work, we hope and pray for a full recovery.

Thank you LaDon Stennis, the world needs more people like you. You can follow the appreciative comments from other law enforcement personel at Police Link, where people like Butch2760, a MD police officer writes:
Kudos to the citizen whom selflessly thought only to help the fallen Officer. Hell, I think the Officers Union should have bought him the Harley! I concur with BearKlaw, "it makes me proud to work for and protect citizens like Mr. Stennis." Thank you from a brother in Blue!
There are a lot of good citizen's, I know, I was at the Trade Center site on 9/12/01 with thousands of them, many people from all walks of life, trying their best to help. It's unfortunate that you only see the good in times of great tragedy, it's unfortunate that the main stream media has chose not to bother letting the entire country know about this.


I have just learned, thanks to Omaha Steve from the Democratic Underground forum, that LaDon Stennis is a union member, according to Steve:
I was LaDon's steward when I was in the Parks Dept. (AFSCME Local 251)
I have also been in contact with Chris Circo, The Vice President of the Omaha Police union, who informs me:
Ofc. Latschar is now Sgt. Latschar. He was on the promotional list waiting for a vacancy when this happened. He is still at home, going stir crazy, but continues to improve.
We all hope for his speedy recovery.

Big thanks to everyone who helped get me info on this story

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LaDon is a member of AFSCME local 251. I was his steward when I was in the Parks Dept.

Post a Comment

Thanks for choosing to comment, your comment is subject to moderation and will appear when I am on the web. No personal attacks please. Junk posts by what I deem as a internet troll will simply be deleted.
All views are welcome, please post links, if any, that have to do with the story, as this will help myself and other readers to follow for more information. Thanks, Joe